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Family Finances: Talking With Your Parents

Financial planning

Do you have a financial plan to move forward in your aging years? Do your senior loved ones have a plan? Sometimes it’s hard to bring up those topics with them, but if you get asked to serve as power of attorney for a family member, it’s your business to find out. Sitting down with a senior finance manager might be a great way to bridge you to this information in a non-invasive way. Brynne Malone, the owner and founder of Aging Solutions NW, joins Suzanne to talk about how to talk to your parents about their family finances. Financial wellness, knowing you have resources to maintain your life, is one of the 8 foundational principles of wellness featured in the Vitality Revolution podcast series sponsored by Humana.

45% of children do not know who their senior parents’ doctor or health care provider is. Brynne says, “I think it’s just kind of a lack of communication and more so than that, how to communicate how much do I want to put it on my children in these circumstances, particularly when it comes to finances… As people get older, there tends to be a role reversal, and sometimes there could be a lot of friction with that. Parents who are thinking I’m in charge, and I need to be in charge, but they don’t continue that goal setting, that goal planning, because they’ve already met the goal of retirement. And the kids are like, mom and dad are taking care of themselves, and I don’t need to intrude.”

36% of adult children actually live more than 100 miles away from their senior parents. How can they be in touch on a day-to-day basis? Brynne advises, “I think the best way to do that is [for the parent to] know what your assets are, and know what your liabilities are, so you can have a position of power, and where to start to start having these conversations. If there’s any ambiguity at all in speaking with your children, it’ll get to a point where there can be some conflict. As the parent, you want to be as specific as possible. You’re the bus driver, not the passenger. So know where you are, get your assets documented, get your income documented, and get your expenses documented.”

How do we begin discussing this topic with senior loved ones? Brynne says, “Just talking about finances is such an important thing and I think oftentimes it gets kind of tucked away on the back of the closet as we get older and we are retired. How I approach it with the families that I have the pleasure of working with is, let’s ask mom and dad what their goals are. Are their goals to stay in the home? Are their goals to move to a supported living situation? Really, what are their goals? And then let’s look at the cost of whatever those goals might be bringing in, in home care, or moving to an assisted living. And then being just really honest about where mom and dad are medically, and what that looks like. It’s incredible how much life expectancies have increased since 1900. I mean, 48 years old was old in 1900. Here we are in 2023, and 83 is the new number, right? So it’s a challenge.”

Aging Solutions connects people across the United States with resources to guide you through aging challenges. Brynne Malone offers a free 30-minute consultation for listeners to Answers for Elders. Reach Brynne at 509-981-1520 or https://agingsolutionsnw.com/.

Learn more
* Brynne Malone: https://agingsolutionsnw.com/about/
* Aging Solutions NW: https://agingsolutionsnw.com/
* The Vitality Revolution podcast series: https://answersforelders.com/vitality-revolution/
* Humana: https://www.humana.com/
* Answers for Elders: https://answersforelders.com/welcome-to-answers-for-elders/

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* Articles and podcasts about Financial Wellness: https://answersforelders.com/vitality-revolution/financial-wellness/

Answers for Elders is part of the SeniorResource Network: https://www.seniorresource.com/
Check out our affiliate podcast Alzheimer’s Speaks: https://alzheimersspeaks.com/

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